My life expectancy now exceeds most device warranties

Lowe’s young man raised his eyebrows and patted the device.

At first, I dismissed his statement as typical salesperson verbosity. Sure. The hot tub is good. But the fact that I was here to replace my old Whirlpool washer made his claim suspect.

It was then that I caught sight of my reflection in the shiny stainless steel front of a neighboring refrigerator.

The woman I saw looking back had hair that blended into the gray of the surface of the device. His bifocals were huge for Mr. Magoo-y. The slumped shoulders were wearing a flowery top my mom would absolutely LOVE, and I saw sane, generic sneakers displayed reflective along the recessed bottom panel of the fridge.

Mr. “Do you want to buy a washing machine, ma’am?” Was right. This Whirlpool would probably last the rest of my life.

Maybe the logic will strike you as tearful, but I’d rather see it as the ultimate benefit of baby boomer consumerism. After a life of paying monthly installments on everything from couches to cars – only to have to replace said item for a week after final payment – I think I’ve finally reached the age where my remaining life expectancy is below. most household products. warranty averages.

I bought the washer. Then I did a little research on the longevity of the devices. Most major household appliances last about 20 years. If I worked my life properly, I could now consider the latest purchases.

Do the math. I am in my sixties.

The chest freezer we bought last year will probably be buzzing long after I’m gone. And if not, what are the chances that I will be able to lean really deep in two decades, looking for a brick of beef to cook? Until then, I’ll probably be waiting at the front door for my daily Meals on Wheels delivery.

My stove is fairly new; if I keep my cooking to a minimum from this day forward, I should look at the last stove to come up on our doorstep. I know. I will miss working on these burners night after night for sure. But my savvy sense of financial economics must be obeyed at all costs.

Our “colossal elbow” refrigerator contains a light bulb that’s older than me. If it decides to shut down, anything that isn’t obsolete inside will likely fit in a cooler.

So. I should be settled for the rest of my life when it comes to appliances.

It’s good to know – in a weird and derisory way that only makes me more clearly identified as a woman long past the age of skin – that I’ll never have to face another appliance salesman whose bravado and energy in turn amuse and enrage my beliefs “a penny saved is a penny earned”.

This new revelation is also part of my legacy plan. My kids already have houses full of stuff. They won’t want me to leave new devices behind. They will want old people that they can sell for scrap.

So when I lie down on the threadbare sheets of my lumpy but still comfortable bed every night, from here to now, I’ll snuggle up with a smile. The sheets under me may look like a ghost’s wardrobe – ragged, grayish, and translucent – but they’re good enough to swaddle me until that last swaddle of “six feet under” …

… “With proper care”, of course, from my new, latest washing machine.

Robin Garrison Leach is a freelance writer and columnist from Quincy, Illinois. Contact her at [email protected]

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